Kite Aerial Photography
My first KAP kite purchased in late 2002. A little old-fashioned now but used to be seen as a good compromise between the stability of the box and lifting power of the delta.
Useful lift in medium wind (10-18mph). The kite was retired after considerable wear and tear caused by the inexperienced operator and hard use. After all this was my first KAP kite!
DCs are forgiving of gusty wind as the kite will tend to glide a bit rather than drop if the wind dies. Breaking spars, especially the leading edges was one of my specialties, so changing to 6mm carbon fiber tube from bass-wood was a worthwhile improvement.
Purchased in 2004 from kapshop.com this 3m x1.8m Double Pearson Roller is a low-wind, patriotic, addition to the kite bag.
With high stability, the absence of tails, and simple bridling, this kite
gives the ability to fly <10mph. The disadvantage is longer assembly time
before flight. Slower photographs are better
than no photographs!
The significance of the Scottish Saltire on a kite goes deeper than patriotism. In 832 AD, a Pictish and Scottish army under King Angus MacFergus, and Eochaidh, King of Dalriada (grandfather of Kenneth MacAlpin), was battling a Northumbrian force for control of the Lothian region near Athelstanford. The night before battle, Saint Andrew reportedly appeared to Angus in a vision, and on the field of battle the next day, a saltire, or x-shaped cross, similar to the one that Saint Andrew was crucified on, appeared in the sky. This encouraged the Picts & Scots and caused the Northumbrians to flee the field. From that day to this, the emblem has been called the St Andrew's Cross.
Similar in size to a Flowform 16, and also in performance, this kite never became widely available. There was not enough of a differentiator over the commercially available Flowform 16.
Of course the advantage of a soft kite like this is that it packs down well and fits into a small rucksack with the rest of the KAP equipment.
This kite was donated by Hugh Palmer - Thanks.
Made by Green's in England the kite when inflated has a huge pull, and a lower flight angle compared with most sparred kites. Although on the face of it this may seem like a big advantage, lots of pull makes handling the kite tiring and bringing it down extremely hard work!
So it's a low wind kite? Unfortunately it proves difficult to launch as having no spars it needs to be inflated before you get any significant lift. This makes launching in less exposed locations and low / gusty wind conditions challenging. Interesting kite, not often used!
Soft kites like this always have a tail - either a drogue (as shown), fuzzy, or streamers - to give stability. They are best connected to the trailing edge so the flight is symmetrical and adds least distortion to the main kite body.
Becotised for more stable flight in Spring 2008. This
change by Christian Becot adds webbed areas to the side panels (in blue in
this photograph). This greatly reduces the bowing in these side panels
(the photograph shown has not been modified), resulting is less distortion
in the whole kite body.
Although I prefer the Dopero for low wind this is a good alternative for either low line angles, faster deployment, or if traveling with limited space.
Autumn 2007. Handmade by Dan Leigh in Wales providing balance and stability unsurpassed by mass produced kites. The R8 has a 10ft / 3m wingspan, providing similar lift to a Flowform 16 or Delta Conyne with similar wind span, but with greater stability and higher flight angles.
The only disadvantage is that the kite is still over 6ft long (1.95m) when folded as the leading edges are in one piece. Unless traveling, this is my kite of choice for "normal" (10-18mph) winds.
Thanks to Pierre Lesage for introducing me to Dan Leigh's beautifully crafted deltas.
Spring 2008. My second Dan Leigh kite, this time the smaller Trooper. All the advantages of Dan's design but smaller and trimmed for strong winds. 7.5ft / 2.3m wingspan.
Once you have one Dan Leigh kite,
its difficult not to buy a second!
Very deceptive in design. Flys well in moderate to strong winds without generating high line pull, which would make the kite tiring to work, difficult to handle/ reel-in, and puts strain on equipment - especially the flying line!
This is my friend Pete's kite (Pete is flying opposite from 2002), which I sometimes used when we fly together. In case you are wondering, yes that is SNOW on the ground!
I purchased my own Becotised Flowform 16 in Spring 2008. This change by Christian Becot adds webbed areas to the side panels (in green in this photograph). This greatly reduces the bowing in these side panels, resulting is less distortion in the whole kite body.
If you really only could buy one kite, I would recommend you buy this one. Best compromise on wind-range, performance, and cost. I still use mine if space limits me carrying a sparred kite to the shoot.
OK, maybe it's not KAP, but for days with no wind, and subjects close to the ground (close up of statues, odd angles, etc), this is a useful addition once you have the rest of the kit.
This pole was designed for cleaning swimming pools, and was
easily modified to hold a rig with a "hangman" on the top.
There are 2 types available. Illustrated here is the telescopic type, easiest to erect, but be careful the friction rings are tightly screwed or it may collapse on it's own weight.
The second type is like a fishing rod (normally a "carp" fishing rod") where the sections fit end-on-end. There is no chance of collapse but the whole pole must be raised from horizontal to vertical when fully extended which limits the weight it can carry.
There are some examples of Pole Aerial Photography in the Gallery.